War Diary 757th Field Company, Royal Engineers, July 1944
1 July 1944 CRISTOT.
Company HQ and No. 1 Platoon area Cristot. No. 2 and 3 Platoons’ area LE PONT ROC.
Company employed on road maintenance in Fontenay-Le-Pesnel.
2 Sections Pioneer Corps attached for burying livestock.
Minefields laid area Rauray during night 1 - 2 July.
2 July 1944
Locations – no change. Platoons resting during the day. Pioneers as above.
9 knocked-out GERMAN tanks located in area Rauray.
Laid two further minefields in area Rauray during night 2 – 3 July.
3 July 1944
Locations - no change. Platoons resting during day. Pioneers continued burying of cattle.
4 July 1944
Locations – HQ and all Platoons at Cristot.
All Platoons road maintenance in Fontenay-Le-Pesnel. Pioneers burying cattle as above.
5 July 1944
Locations – no change. Route maintenance Fontenay-Le-Pesnel area by all Platoons. Burial of cattle continued.
Change of command – Major L A M FRASER replaced by Major I D S BROWN Royal Engineers.
Lieutenant M F DONOGHUE attached to 205 Corps Reception Camp pending posting.
6 July 1944
Locations – no change. Route maintenance Fontenay-Le-Pesnel.
1 knocked-out PANTHER and 1 knocked-out SHERMAN cleared off road.
Cattle burial continued.
Lieutenant A W MOORE Royal Engineers evacuated to Casualty Clearing Station for return to UK due to recurrence of old wrist injury.
7 July 1944
Locations – no change.
Heavy bomber raid on CAEN.
8 July 1944
Constructed water point at 841781. Cattle burial continued.
9 July 1944
10 July 1944
As for 9th July 1944.
11 July 1944
3 Platoon on demolition training. Cattle burial continues.
12 July 1944
Locations – no change. 1 and 3 Platoons training on Mines and demolitions. 2 Platoon resting.
Anti-Tank Minefield laid during night 12 – 13 July 1944 in area JUVIGNY.
13 July 1944
Locations – no change. Minefields laid during early morning. Total of 705 mines laid. All Platoons resting during day.
14 July 1944
Locations – no change. 1 Platoon on Mines training. 2 Platoon in reserve, 3 Platoon resting.
House 834665 Booby-trapped by NCO from 2 Platoon during evening.
British Minefields Nos. 302001 and 190 degree gap in 302002 lifted during night 14 – 15 July. Mines in 302002 could not all be found due to Infantry of another formation lifting them and relaying without adequate records.
15 July 1944
Locations – no change. Minefields as above cleared during early morning. Platoons resting during day.
Royal Engineer 49 Division Sitrep 15:14 hours – Quote “70 Brigade. House booby-trapped 834665 by own troops last night. Enemy occupied it this morning and booby traps heard exploding 07:15 hours. Shortly afterwards house caught fire. Number of enemy rushed out into open and were successfully shot up by 11th DLI." Unquote.
Booby trap removed from front of 11th Royal Scots Fusiliers and 20 more mines lifted from minefield 302002 during night 15 – 16 July.
16 July 1944
17 July 1944
Locations – no change. Nos. 2 and 3 Platoons training in breaching HEDGEROWS with Beehives and Bangalore Torpedoes for forward movement of tanks and carriers.
Tactical HQ established during evening at HQ 70th Infantry Brigade.
18 July 1944
Locations – HQ and 1 Platoon, no change. 2 Platoon at 832685. 3 Platoon at 857684.
1 Platoon continuing Assault Bridging Training. 2 and 3 Platoons clearing roads and tracks of mines in area of JUVIGNY and surrounding woods. Tellermines, Schu Mines and Improvised Booby Traps encountered.
Two Other Ranks wounded by Schu Mine (Sappers JONES I H and GAULT).
19 July 1944
Locations – all Platoons return to HQ during late afternoon.
1 Platoon continues Assault Bridging Training during morning. 2 Platoon lift British minebelts 302025 and 302026 and continue clearing enemy mines on roads immediately South of JUVIGNY. 3 Platoon lift British minebelts 304007 and 302024 and continue clearance of mines on roads in area of CHATEAU at JUVIGNY.
20 July 1944
Location – no change. All Platoons on road maintenance in area Tilly-Sur-Seulles – JUVIGNY.
21 July 1944
Location – no change. All Platoons resting and preparing for move of Division to EAST of River ORNE.
22 July 1944
Locations – no change. All Platoons resting and preparing for move. Move postponed due to inclement weather and impassable roads in the new area.
23 July 1944
Locations – no change. Officer Commanding and Advance Party move via CAEN to Demouville 1067.
Advance Party digging and bulldozing in for Brigade HQ. Intermittent shelling.
Company moved in 70th Infantry Brigade Group and arrived at Demouville at 10:00 hours without incident. No. 1 Platoon still digging in Brigade HQ. Remainder of Company dig themselves in.
19:00 hours. No. 3 Platoon form Advance Party for new Company location at LONGUEVILLE 0872. Spasmodic shelling of Demouville area and air raid at night. No damage or casualties.
25 July 1944 Demouville to LONGUEVILLE.
03:30 hours. HQ and No. 2 Platoon move to LONGUEVILLE. No. 1 Platoon continue digging in of Brigade HQ and making approach track to Brigade HQ. NO. 1 Platoon remain in Demouville area.
26 July 1944 LONGUEVILLE.
No. 1 Platoon completed task at Brigade HQ and moved to join HQ at LONGUEVILLE. No. 2 Platoon route clearance in CUBERVILLE 1068. No. 3 Platoon route maintenance on main lateral Demouville 1067 to Divisional Boundary due EAST 127671.
Two Other Ranks of No. 2 Platoon wounded be enemy shelling.
Continuous spasmodic shelling of whole area during day. Work interrupted. Company HQ shelled at dusk by air burst shells. One attached Other Rank slightly wounded by splinter. Slight damage to two vehicles.
27 July 1944
Locations – no change. 1 Platoon route maintenance on road CUBERVILLE – Demouville. 2 Platoon cleaning up CUBERVILLE. 3 Platoon route maintenance as yesterday.
28 July 1944
Locations – no change. 1 Platoon cleared suspected minefield near St HONORINE 0971. 2 Platoon clearing CUBERVILLE. 3 Platoon marking tank track SOUTH of main lateral Demouville – Sannerville. Air raid at night – no casualties.
29 July 1944
Locations – no change. 1 Platoon route maintenance on road CUBERVILLE – Demouville. 2 and 3 Platoons as yesterday.
30 July 1944
Locations – no change. 1 Platoon as yesterday. 2 Platoon using mechanical equipment on road maintenance. 3 Platoon assisting 1 Platoon.
31 July 1944
Locations – no change. All Platoons as yesterday.
Erratic shelling by enemy during afternoon, thought to be Railway Gun – no casualties.
To contact the author by e-mail with any queries, or to send information - click here.